Tuna contains important nutrients and protein, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the FDA advise limiting portions rather than eliminating it from the diet over concerns about mercury, registered dietitian Mary-Jo Sawyer writes. She notes that light tuna contains less mercury than do albacore or yellowfin tuna, and recommends using water-packed tuna, which is low in fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Iron supplementation improved the memory and learning of children with poor iron status, particularly those with anemia, but omega-3 supplements yielded no overall benefit, a study found. Researchers noted that girls with iron deficiency who received omega-3s had lower scores in memory tests than boys. The findings, based on 321 children in South Africa, appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A woman's diet during pregnancy should include calcium to ensure the baby has strong bones and folic acid to prevent birth defects, writes registered dietitian Melinda Johnson of Arizona State University. Pregnant women also need omega-3 fatty acids for fetal brain development, and choline, from eggs or chicken, for brain power.
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrition, but 90% of Americans do not eat enough of them to reap the myriad health benefits, experts say. Adding fruits and vegetables to recipes that don't call for them, such as grating carrots into muffin batter, is one way to get more, says Angela Ginn, a nutrition-education coordinator and diabetes educator. Registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Jessica Crandall suggests cutting fruit and vegetables into bite-sized chunks for easy snacking.
The University of Maryland and state officials have announced the Institute for a Healthiest Maryland, which aims to address health issues including hypertension, high cholesterol and childhood obesity through policy changes. The institute plans to work closely with local health departments.